When cold sun sifts down through the understory,
the beech leaves glow, like a brown-winged miller
that hovers round the streetlamp and beats the powder
from its wings. This light is the modest glory
of our winter. On workdays, when we speed
distracted here and there, we may not notice.
But walk near in the fog, half-past the solstice--
in February, when peepers start to breed:
the glow will draw us through the backlit haze
into an ashen spring. Now I think of this
half light in the August heat, as Joe-pye’s
pink clouds smolder in the ditch and days
are growing shorter; as the lake’s cool mist
clings to the pines and mutes the sun’s slow rise.